When I sat down to write today about the amazing miracle of living your life, I planned on posting The Dash Between the Dates by Linda Ellis. I originally was going to cut and paste the poem with attributes. However, Linda specifically requests people not to do so. She asks that you instead share a link to her website where she has it posted.
For those who don’t know, the dash between the dates is a poem about living life. It is about the dash on your tombstone between the dates of your birth and death.
In case you haven’t grasped it yet, today I am going to talk about someone I love who passed away today. This will most likely be a raw post of my genuine emotions. I don’t expect it to be lighthearted. I am writing this post more for myself then anyone else.
Alzheimer’s Disease is currently attacking a generation of my family. Early this morning a relative succumbed to this horrible beast. I have another relative on the same side of the family who is currently in a “memory care facility”.
Honestly, I have not been physically near either of them during their journey. I “live” too far away. The thing is, one was only about 5 hours away. How do you justify, I live too far away when last July you took a trip 13 hours away? I am not certain at what stage this relative was when I took that trip. I don’t know if they would even know my name had I shown up. The second one, lives a 28 hour drive each way. I have been told that, the second relative would not know who I am for sure.
For me, today means that I will no longer be called Mike to make me mad. No one will call me Mickey Mouse instead of Miki. The person who was ornery enough to tell me they were b-b-q-ing Rudolph has been taken from me.
One of the adults who created one of the most magical Christmas’s in my life is gone forever. That Christmas, our families celebrated together. When we woke up the family room was wall to wall presents. I had never seen such a sight. I honestly don’t know how many presents there were. I was under the age of 8 and there were 4 girls being spoiled by 2 sets of parents and I think grandma might have even been there.
A relative who taught me if I helped clean the kitchen after spaghetti dinner, I would get a quarter. Then all of us kids would go to the mini-mart and get a candy. Back in a day when kids were allowed to both go outside and go to the store alone.
When I lived in Southern CA, if we were going to a concert or Disneyland, we always knew where there was a floor we could crash for the night at.
Basically I lost a relative who was a big part of my early childhood.
The reality is tomorrow is not guaranteed for any of us.
For the past year, I have spent my life trying to have fun, to be a kid, to go on adventures. While life has thrown me a lot of hurdles to jump over, I am doing my best to make it a life worth living.
Did you know I wrote a book in 1999? It got into talks with a major publishing house and then died. Along with it my dream to be a writer died. Deep down inside, I have always loved writing. I had used bulletin board systems, made a Geocities site, a tripod site, a blog on blogger, I love Reddit, etc. Twenty years later, you are reading my blog. Published or not, I am a writer. I have a lot to say about EVERYTHING! The fact that I am a writer does not require validation from anyone else. It is who I am. If I try to silence myself, I am denying my true identity.
I am going places and doing things to make my heart sing. I have a dog. I love dogs!
I love the National Parks. Bart and I bought an annual pass so the cost is not an excuse when we live about an hour and a half from Yosemite. Did you know Yosemite is my most favorite place on earth to visit?
I love giving and receiving gifts. I have done around 80 Secret Santa exchanges via RedditGifts. On Reddit I also participate in several of the Random Acts of subreddits. It brings my heart joy to see people smile or get excited. That is also why I have been bringing you guys giveaways pretty regularly. I am the person who paid your bridge toll when you were behind me. I asked the clerk at the McDonald’s drive-thru how much your order was and I then bought you lunch. I saw you on a date at Olive Garden where the two of you shared a salad. I paid your bill.
When my final date is placed after my dash, I want people to say she lived! I want to be known as the silly grandma who was always a source of laughter. I want to be remembered as someone with a kind and generous heart who was always there for people. I want people to say I was truly happy.
When I am gone, I want you to say, ” She left us as happy as a 7 year old.”